Home Nature ‘Third-hand’ tobacco smoke fills non-smoking cinemas

‘Third-hand’ tobacco smoke fills non-smoking cinemas

No breathing easy: filmgoers at cinemas in which smoking is banned could still be exposed to the hazardous pollutants found in tobacco fumes. Credit: Getty

Environmental sciences

Levels of smoke-related chemicals rise sharply during age-restricted action films, but less so during a children’s flick.

Even in a non-smoking cinema, filmgoers can be exposed to hazardous tobacco-related pollutants, which waft off the clothing and bodies of smokers in the audience.

Third-hand smoke is the hazardous pollution from cigarettes that has settled onto various surfaces and is then re-released into the air. To understand how third-hand smoke can be transported into non-smoking environments, Drew Gentner at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and his colleagues measured the levels of a wide range of gases and particles in a cinema in Mainz, Germany, over a four-day period.

The researchers observed that the concentrations of 35 tobacco-related volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including carcinogens such as benzene, spiked at the start of film showings. These concentrations varied with both time of day and film rating; VOC emissions were minor during a family-friendly film, but were much higher during age-restricted action films.

Tobacco-related VOCs also accumulated in the cinema during each day of the study and over the course of the weekend. These compounds could build up more quickly and persist for longer in smaller spaces such as bars, trains and homes than in cinemas, the researchers say.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Astronauts conduct second Chinese space station spacewalk

HELSINKI — Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming embarked on a second Shenzhou-12 spacewalk late Thursday to carry out work on a space...

Space Force awards $32 million in contracts to startups and small businesses

Of 24 companies that competed at the Space Force Pitch Day, 19 were selected for SBIR Phase 2 awards WASHINGTON — At a virtual...

PNT alternatives champion open-market approach

TAMPA, Fla. — Competing positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) companies are joining forces to accelerate efforts to back up global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). The...

Space Force to establish new command in Colorado focused on training and education

STARCOM is the third and final field command being stood up by the Space Force WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force on Aug. 23 will...

Single molecules keep to the straight and narrow – Physics World

Precisely sending and receiving single molecules. Courtesy: L Grill A change in the position of a single molecule can determine the outcome of a chemical...